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Personal Challenge: Create Some New Looks!

Hey everyone! For the past several months (maybe even a year if I’m being honest) I have been sewing the same patterns over and over and over. I’m sure some of you can relate. I’ve found a few patterns that I love, and fit me and my style well. And so I keep sewing them. While the fabrics are different, this has lead to my wardrobe being pretty boring.

This year I decided I not only wanted to sew some different patterns and create new pieces for my closet, I also wanted those pieces to be more androgynous. I am nonbinary, and while I typically go for more femme looks, there are days when I want to have a more masculine or androgynous look. I figured signing up for this blog (which is also a personal challenge since this is my first one) would give me the motivation to actually start that!

I knew that I wanted pieces that could go together for a complete look, and also work as separates. Luckily, ALD has plenty of fabrics to choose from that go well together! I decided on a cardigan, tank top, and some comfy pants. Because I wanted an androgynous look, I also chose to make a binder. For those who don’t know, a binder is a garment that compresses chest tissue, giving a flatter, more traditionally masculine look. This is definitely not necessary to create an androgynous look, but it was something I wanted for me.

To make the binder, I used the binder hack for the Ellie and Mac Colorblocked Tank found in the LGBTQ+ & Ally Sewists Facebook group. The tank is a retired pattern, and is no longer available on the website. However if you join the group linked the pattern pieces are in the files section. The binder hack is in the guides portion of the group. I used the Peach Shiny Tricot for the main fabric, and a powernet I already had on hand. I used the burrito method so I wouldn’t have to hem the neck and armscyes. I also made this one with less compression than what’s usually used. It’s a fast and easy sew!

Next up was the tank top. For this I used the ALD Marina Tank. When I first saw Clifton, I knew I needed at least a little to make something. I love the colors; the lavendar, peach, and navy stripes are such a great combination. Between you and me, I actually based this whole look off of Clifton, which is a lovely rayon spandex slub. It has a great weight and drape. I don’t typically go for boatneck patterns, I’m really not sure why, as I really like the look. And I love the way the neckband is done on this pattern! So easy! Even though my chest was flattened due to the binder, I still made the tank according to my usual measurements, so I could also wear it when I didn’t want to bind.

Since it’s still chilly here in Maine, I wanted to make a cardigan. I’d been eyeing the Baxter Hacci for awhile, and the rusty orange color turned out to be perfect for this look. This hacci is incredibly soft, all my kids and my spouse are jealous of my cardigan! I used the Rain City Pattern Clear Creek Cardigan. It is so cozy, I think I might live in it during the colder months. It’s a great cardigan pattern no matter what look you are going for. And I may also need to buy more of ALD's all the colors.

And finally, for the pants I knew I wanted something a little less simple to complete the look. I figured a pattern with colorblocking would help with that. Colorblocking is one of my favorite techniques because I love being able to mix and match prints. So I searched through all my pants patterns to find the ones with colorblocking. I’ve made most of them at least a few times, so I ended up buying a new one to try out, the Petite Stitchery Sunny Sweats. With so many colorblocking options to choose from, this pattern was definitely one I needed in my pattern library.

For these, I used rib knit, including Stowe and Cantalope (which I also used for the tank neck and arm bands), as well as the Vintage Purple Pointelle. The Cantalope and Purple Pointelle match the colors in Clifton perfectly, and Stowe, with its charcoal and black stripes, made a good neutral. This pattern has a lot of pieces, so I made labels for each pant side (fronts and backs) and clipped all the pieces for each leg piece together. If you are like me and would lose track of what piece goes to what leg, I highly recommend you do something similar! I think the pants really bring the whole look together.

I am happy with how the outfit came out. It’s definitely given me more ideas of how to mix up my wardrobe some! What will you do to mix up your wardrobe this year?

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